Review: Blood Brothers by The Princes Players at ANZAC Hall, Prince Alfred College
September 23, 2021

Review: Shrek Jr – The Musical by Adelaide Youth Theatre at Arts Theatre

The beloved story of an anti-social, territorial green ogre named Shrek, whose solitary life is interrupted after the diminutive Lord Farquaad of Duloc exiles a number of fairy tale creatures to Shrek’s swamp.

Not happy with this new set up, Shrek decides to travel to Duloc to see Farquaad and regain his swamp. Along the way, Shrek rescues a talkative Donkey and he joins him on his quest.

Back in Duloc, in order for Farquaad to become king, he must marry a princess, so after the recommendation from his Magic Mirror and his henchmen, Farquaad settles on Princess Fiona, who is trapped in a tower surrounded by lava and guarded by a terrifying, fire-breathing dragon.

Upon arriving in Duloc, Farquaad is impressed with Shrek’s size and stature, and demands that Shrek must rescue Fiona on his behalf, and in return, will give Shrek the deed to his swamp.

The two unlikely friends make it to the castle and fight off the dragon to escape with Fiona. Wanting to see her ‘Prince Charming’ in the flesh, Shrek removes his helmet to reveal he is an ogre.

After taking shelter for the night, Donkey accidentally sees Fiona has transformed into an ogress. She explains she has been cursed since childhood, forcing her to transform every night after sunset and changing back at sunrise. She tells Donkey that only ‘true loves kiss’ will break the spell and change her to ‘loves true form’. Shrek overhears the conversation just as she is calling herself ‘an ugly beast’. Believing that Fiona was talking about him, Shrek angrily leaves and returns with Lord Farquaad to take Fiona back to Duloc.

Shrek realises what a huge mistake he has made, and quickly travels to Duloc to interrupt the wedding and confess to Fiona that Farquaad is only marrying her to become king and that he truly has feelings for her.

As the sun sets, Fiona transforms into an ogress to everyone’s surprise. Shrek and Fiona profess their love for one another; as Fiona’s curse is broken, but permanently making her an ogress, a form she wasn’t expecting, but Shrek finds beautiful. They marry in the swamp with all their fairy tale in attendance and live happily ever after!

Adelaide Youth Theatre’s Shrek Jnr is compact version of the stage musical; based on the film Shrek with elements of it’s sequels; Shrek 2 and Shrek Forever After.

With super catchy tunes, a bright set, a young and professional cast and a story-line we can all relate to, this production was a treat for the whole family!

The ensemble were polished and entertaining, especially in ‘Story of My Life’ and ‘Freak Flag’.

Featured performers Benji Marks [Pinocchio], Torin Hill [Wolf], Zahli Linke, Isabella Charman and Amelia Scodella [The Three Little pigs] took the lead as their respective fairy tale characters.

Zoe Foskett was superb as the sugary sweet Gingy and Kiara Linke’s soaring vocals hit the spot as Dragon.

As Lord Farquaad, Henry Hasler was both terrorising and hilarious and played the self-absorbed and cruel would be king to a tea.

Mila Shin and Gracie Cheung shone as Young and Teen Fiona in their rendition of ‘I Know It’s Today’ with Princess Fiona, Paige Tran.

A gorgeous young performer, Tran played Fiona as quirky, blunt and multi-talented and sang like a canary in numbers such as ‘Morning Person’ and ‘This is How a Dream Comes True’.

Alessia Charman brought the sass and smart-mouth of Donkey to life. Her version of ‘Don’t Let me Go’ was strong and character driven, and her relationship with the big green ogre was faithful as well as side-splittingly funny!

Playing the story’s title character, was Alex Hasler, a newcomer to the AYT team.

Beginning as a grumpy, short-tempered hermit, he later reveals his big heart by shedding his onion layers and showing himself as a real hero. His opening number ‘Big, Bright Beautiful World’ set the tone for the entire show. He has a great presence on the stage and I look forward to seeing him in more shows.

The production gang of Director, Jethro Pidd, Serena Cann as Musical Director and Taylor Tran as Choreographer presented what a team they are with the smooth and seamless show they delivered.

Kudos to Set, Props and Construction guru Tuan Tran and his Costume Coordinator extraordinaire wife, May Tran – the whole spectacle truly was a big, bright beautiful world!

Well done team!

 

Happy theatre travels…

Lia <3

Lia Loves
Lia Loves
Theatre. Dance. Fashion. Lifestyle. Follow her adventures as Adelaide's premier theatre buff, arts aficionado and fashion devotee!

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